TEMPE, AZ – It is with great pleasure that the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announces Dick Gould (Stanford, 1966-2004), the most decorated coach in college tennis history, as the recipient of the 2023 ITA Chairman’s Award.
Now in its second year, the ITA Chairman’s Award recognizes and honors an individual who has provided lifelong service to our sport, including, but not limited to, innovation across the college tennis landscape in support of coaches, varsity programs, colleges and universities, and student-athletes. The award winner serves as an inspiration to how college students may impact tennis and society, including giving back to our sport.
ITA Chairman of the Board, Jon Vegosen, writes, “Dick’s outstanding character, passion, high standards, and tender-heartedness explains why he is considered not only the consummate coach and mentor but also an extraordinary human being”.
Finding his passion for the sport at a young age, Gould played tennis all throughout high school in Ventura, California where he would be named the most valuable player on his team and the 1955 Ventura County Singles and Doubles Champion in addition to serving as the Ventura High School Student Body President.
After high school, Gould would enroll at Stanford in the fall of 1955 where he played tennis and would go on to earn three varsity letters and earn the men’s tennis Leadership Award before graduating with his bachelor’s degree in 1959 and later his master’s degree in 1960.
Knowing his contributions within the sport of tennis wasn’t over after his playing career at Stanford, Gould would embark on his coaching career in 1960, where he would spend his next 58 years in some capacity giving back to the sport of tennis and players playing our sport.
Landing his first coaching position at Mountain View High School, Gould would spend four years here as the tennis coach and assistant football coach before earning his first college coaching opportunity at Foothill Junior College. At the helm of the Foothill team from 1963 to 1966, Gould and his team would win back-to-back State Junior College Championships in 1964 and 1965, while in 1963 Gould would have players win both the State Junior College Singles and Doubles Championships.
Taking the next leap in his career in 1966, Gould would return to his alma mater, Stanford, where he would serve as the head coach for the next 38 years and where he would cement himself not only as one of the greatest head coaches in college tennis history, but all of college athletics.
With the Cardinal, Gould and his teams would go on to win 17 NCAA National Championships in the span of 28 years, a number that had not been previously seen or that has been replicated since his time at Stanford. For 35 years, every four-year player that came through the Stanford program left Palo Alto with at least one NCAA Team Championship.
Under his tutelage, the Stanford men’s tennis team produced 17 NCAA Individual Champions, including ten NCAA Singles Champions and seven NCAA Doubles Champions. By the end of his coaching career 50 players he coached had earned All-American honors and his career record of 776-148 would make Gould the winningest coach in program history.
Gould’s influence reached even further than the college game as he had 13 former players win Grand Slam Titles, nine players reach the top 15 in the ATP singles rankings, 14 players reach the top ten in the ATP doubles rankings, and eight players represent their country in the Olympic Games. Some notable players from Gould’s time at Stanford include, John and Patrick McEnroe, Bob and Mike Bryan, Jim Grabb, and Johnathan Stark to name a few.
To this day, Gould is still leaving his mark on the sport of tennis, and more specifically college tennis, authoring the best-selling book Tennis, Anyone? as well as Anatomy of a Champion: Building and Sustaining Success in Sport, Business, and Life in 2022 which stories from over 160 former players around leadership, team building, and many more topics.
“I’m so proud to follow my longtime friend, Charlie Hoeveler, as the recipient of this great honor,” stated Gould. “A special thank you to the ITA, an organization that has evolved over the years to emphasize leadership and the importance of giving back. As a coach, this is one of the biggest responsibilities that we have, to lead by example, and encourage our athletes to give back to our sport, community, and schools. As coaches we must be positive role models.”
About the ITA
The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is the governing body and coaches association of college tennis, both an advocate and an authority for the sport and its members. Comprised of 1,260 colleges and universities, 20,000 student-athletes, 1,700 varsity programs, 3,000 coaches, and 1,350 college tennis officials, the ITA empowers college tennis coaches at all levels to deliver vibrant tennis programs that are vital to their college communities and transformational to their student-athletes. Follow the 2023-24 college tennis season on the ITA website and ITA social channels on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.